‘Do not abandon your post’ by Mike Stechschulte | The Michigan Catholic
Exorcist warns men to be ‘gatekeepers’ of purity, virtue in the home
Sterling Heights — Richard Yamin says today’s Catholic men need more than “cotton candy Christianity.” Rather, men need “meat and potatoes.”
“This is a war,” Yamin said. “Striving to live a life of holiness as a man is an offensive action, not defensive.”
Being a Catholic man “is not a sweet little picture of snuggly teddy bears and squishy hearts,” said the husband and father of eight. “The biggest heart has been pierced with a lance.”
Yamin spoke to several hundred men gathered Nov. 14 at SS. Cyril and Methodius Parish in Sterling Heights for the inaugural Invictus Christus “Call to Arms” conference. Yamin, a founding member of the men’s apostolate Invictus Christus, served as master of ceremonies for the conference, which featured several speakers, Mass, opportunities for confession and fellowship.
Yamin’s get-tough message echoed several speakers during the daylong event, who emphasized the strength needed for men in today’s culture to be effective leaders for their families while following in the footsteps of Christ.
“All of us have circumstances, every one of us. Life is hard,” said Darren O’Brien, a husband and father of nine and co-founder of Invictus Christus. “That is why God made you a man, to be prepared for the task at hand. You are made for challenge, so stand firm. Do not abandon your post.”
O’Brien, a licensed psychologist by trade, alluded to the biblical story of Peter stepping out of the boat to walk on water toward Christ as a model of faith for today’s Catholic man. But true courage, O’Brien said, isn’t just getting out of the boat, but “burning your boat.”
“If you want to be a man of God, you need to step outside your comfort zone and step out onto the water,” O’Brien said. “That is the only way you will know what faith feels like, tastes like and looks like.”
O’Brien stressed that men, as the heads of their families, must be strong in their faith in order to give that faith to their families.
“It is by us empowering people that we enable others to become what God calls them to be. Our wives, our children, they need us to be the men that God has made us to be. If we are not, we have robbed them from what they most desire and what they most need.”
Fr. Chad Ripperger, an exorcist and member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, said men have more authority in their own households than even they realize. Authority, he said, is not just some arbitrary exercise of power, but was specifically ordained by God and has real implications in the spiritual realm.
“The two principal aspects of authority are to provide and protect,” said Fr. Ripperger, a professor of dogmatic and moral theology at Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary in Denton, Neb. “That’s what it’s designed for. It’s not designed for the individual; it’s designed for the people underneath them.
“You, as the head of your household, are the one who is the gatekeeper. By your authority, you determine who gets to come in and out of the home, not just on a physical level, but even on a spiritual level — whether it’s angels and saints and God and the Blessed Mother, or whether it’s demons,” he said.
Fr. Ripperger said men, by their actions and inactions — such as allowing pornographic or blasphemous material into their homes — can unwittingly invite a demonic spirit.
“If you’re going to be a real father, there has to be tremendous humility. One of the principal ways you’re going to protect your family is through your virtue, through your sanctity,” he said, “It has to do with custody of the mind. We have to keep our minds off certain things.”
O’Brien said the purpose of Invictus Christus, which meets monthly and hosts a number of small groups, mission activities and speakers, as well as an online community interface, is to empower men to carry the banner of Jesus in their homes and in society.
“Each meeting that Invictus Christus holds, we start off by asking ‘Why have you come? Why are you here? What do you seek?’” O’Brien said. “A man of Invictus is a man of declaration. He is a man who has declared himself as a man for Christ, to live with Christ and to operate in Christ.”
Article published by The Michigan Catholic.